Deeply unpopular plans to build 350 homes on Highworth’s old golf course-turned-green space have been scrapped in a big win for campaigners.

Swindon Borough Council voted in favour of removing the proposals from its local plan.

A packed public gallery cheered as the decision was made at Wednesday's full council meeting.

Resident April Thrush, who spoke at the meeting, was thrilled. “After months of work, more council meetings and cabinet meetings than I’ve had hot dinners recently and nights of sleep deprivation, I am thrilled to say that for all those who said ‘it’s a done deal’, we have proved you wrong!

“We got the golf course taken out of the local plan It’s a total community effort from the old golf course team, Highworth residents, Highworth Town Council, ward councillors and local MPs.”

Josie McGregor added: “We really couldn’t have done it without the support of the community so thank you so much to every single person who has supported this campaign. "Thank you to our HTC councillors for fighting for us, to Steve for all his hard work and to the Labour councillors who have been with us throughout this whole thing.

“It’s been a tiring, emotional and stressful process but it’s been incredible to see the Highworth community come together to protect our town.”

The local plan covers the entire borough, setting out housing, infrastructure, industry and environment policies for the Swindon area through to 2036. But the Highworth proposals received more feedback than any other area.

Coun Steve Weisinger, for Blunsdon and Highworth, said to have kept the plans would have been a retrograde step and implored councillors to vote in favour of the amendment.

He said: “This isn’t about being a nimby, far from it. I think it is important to ensure you are all aware that Highworth and its community has already had over 400 new houses approved just over the last four years.

“By removing these 350 properties from the proposed 2036 Local Plan this will still leave Highworth with 516 additional properties included - so Highworth will still be taking its fair share.”

Earlier this week council leaders faced a two-hour grilling about the plans.

The community was up in arms about the possibility of 30 per cent of the grassland off Swindon Road being used for housing.

Though most of the site would remain accessible, protestors claimed the best bit would be built on, removing a valuable chunk of public space which provided people with fresh air and peace of mind.

A petition signed by more than 4,500 people urged Swindon councillors to remove the housing allocation from the plan.

But leader David Renard and cabinet member for planning Coun Gary Sumner worried the whole borough would suffer if the plan was found to be unsound.